The Iowa Supreme Court failed to lift a previous court’s injunction against the 2018 state law prohibiting abortion at six weeks, when a baby’s heartbeat can be detected.
The 2018 measure, known as the fetal heartbeat law, was signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds but later blocked by the Polk County District Court and never enforced.
After the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year, Reynolds asked the court to lift the injunction, which it ruled against in December, according to the Des Moines Register. Reynolds appealed to the state Supreme Court.
Friday the Supreme Court left the injunction in place with an indecisive, 3-3 ruling. A seventh justice, Dana Oxley, recused herself from the case since her former law firm represented one of the plaintiffs in the original case, according to NBC News.
“I’m extremely disappointed in the Supreme Court’s opinion today,” Iowa Speaker of the House Pat Grassley said in a statement. “We feel strongly that the Heartbeat Bill is a good piece of legislation that would save the innocent lives of unborn children.
“Going forward we will work together to pass legislation that will protect life, support new mothers, and promote strong families in Iowa.”
The governor also marked the court’s decision a “disappointment,” but vowed it wasn’t the end of her efforts.
“There is no fundamental right to abortion and any laws restricting it should be reviewed on a rational basis standard – a fact acknowledged today by three of the justices,” Reynolds said in a press release. “Still, without an affirmative decision, there is no justice for the unborn. But the fight is not over. There is no right more sacred than life, and nothing more worthy of our strongest defense than the innocent unborn.”
Abortions are currently legal in Iowa up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.